Want To Know What Drives LMS Purchases?

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The folks over at Edventures have recently released a deep dive report that provides analysis on why higher education institutions have been moving platforms over the past few years. While only Edventures clients have access to the full report, their blog post provides a host of good information that is food for thought. Let’s kick things off with what this shift actually looks like. From the article:

In the past five years, nearly 900 institutions have migrated or consolidated systems, representing nearly 20% of the potential market for this type of technology.

Boom. That’s powerful stuff and clearly underlines that the LMS market is not only hot, but that an LMS is something that institutions are serious about having as a true value add and brand booster.

I’m sure you’ve seen this next graphic before, but it is worth noting revisiting to note what new LMS implementations have looked like over the past five years. This graphic is from Listedtech:

new lms purchases 2010 2015

So, short story, Blackboard Learn and Canvas are crushing it, Moodle is holding steady, Brightspace (D2L) is a contender and there are a host of ‘other’ solutions which, according to the article are worthy LMS players, but just don’t receive due attention from the media.

But what are the motivations behind these 900 movements and the new purchases that are happening everyday? Here is the summary of high level finding from the article:

lms buying reason table

As you can see, Edventures leans Canvas and Brightspace for overall value (the most green dots) with Blackboard third and Moodle bringing up  fourth. While the article provides justification for including iTunesU, Sakai and Schoology, they don’t seem like real contenders with the red “don’t buy me” stop signs in this analysis.

I’d be lying if I said I completely understand the six criteria/headings in this chart and I’ll definitely be requesting a full copy of the report to understand it further. For example, in the case of Moodle, from this analysis, I don’t understand how the LMS would receive a yellow grade for a client’s ability to drive product roadmap (Moodle User Association, anyone? Um… open source?) and ability to scale seamlessly.

What is definitive from this high level overview is that Moodle’s offering is in danger of been distilled for higher ed simply as, “the best choice for institutions that still hold a nearly religious preference for open source software and those seeking the absolute lowest total cost of ownership.” We all know you can only get so far by being the most affordable – what’s missing from this is the clear, tangible value proposition that will motivate institutions to continue to invest in Moodle.

As mentioned earlier, if you’d like a copy of the report, you’ll need to be an Edventures client. However, you can read the rest of the summary in this blog post.

What drives LMS purchasing decisions at your institution? Contribute your thoughts in the comments below!